Fast-track nurse recruitment plan announced in bid to slash vacancies

NHS jobs to be offered to unemployed nurses in Kenya
Nurses in Kenya who are unemployed can soon apply for fast-track opportunities in the NHS

NHS fixed-term job opportunities to be open to jobless nurses in Kenya as part of plan to boost nurse workforce by 50,000

Nurses in Kenya who are unemployed can soon apply for fast-track opportunities in the NHS
NHS employers will be able to fast-track nurse recruits from Kenya – but they must be unemployed and not creating vacancies in their own health system Picture: Alamy

Unemployed nurses in Kenya will be able to apply for a fast-track route to jobs in the NHS.

An agreement between the Kenyan and UK governments will enable nurses to practise in the UK for a fixed period, in an attempt to boost NHS nurse numbers.

Target to get 50,000 more nurses into NHS

Details of how many nurses might be recruited and over what period will be announced in the next three months. However, Kenyan media report that as many as 3,000 jobless nurses in Kenya could be eligible for the scheme.

The UK government said the plan will help it fulfil a promise to train and recruit 50,000 more nurses by 2024.

Health and social secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘Our agreement will make the most of UK and Kenyan health expertise, which will be beneficial to both countries with the exchange of knowledge and training providing first-class healthcare.’

Renewed efforts to recruit and retain foreign nurses

Almost 750 current NMC registrants completed their nursing or midwifery training in Kenya and the UK has been ramping up efforts to recruit nurses from overseas in recent months. In March, the government relaxed ethical recruitment rules and expanded by more than 100 the list of countries from which NHS employers can recruit.

In April, home secretary Priti Patel announced overseas nurses and their families whose visas are due to expire before 1 October 2021 could have them extended for one year free of charge to help with the UK’s COVID-19 response.

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